Enhancing Flood Resilience in Khulna, Bangladesh

Royal HaskoningDHV has been selected, together with its partners, to explore and develop innovative ideas into bankable projects on how Khulna, Bangladesh, can become a water inclusive city as part of the Water as Leverage call for action.

Image source: Royal HaskoningDHV

Khulna, the third largest city in Bangladesh, is part of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the largest delta in the world.

Unfortunately, the delta is also well known for its vulnerability for natural disasters such as cyclones, sea level rise and floods. The past few decades have seen unsustainable urban and agricultural development which has contributed to blocked (natural) drains, water logging, salinity, ground water depletion, water pollution and in general to a shortage of sufficient fresh water for drinking and agriculture.

Together with their coalition partners, CDR-International, Defacto urbanism, Nelen & Schuurmans, DevConsultants, Khulna University, Wageningen University and Research, Royal HaskoningDHV envisions Khulna as a safe and water inclusive enclave in an adaptive coastal zone that is a shelter for its inhabitants and the surrounding communities.

The team will have nine months and a €200,000 contract to analyse and explore the local challenges, whilst connecting with local stakeholders and building partnerships within the city and beyond. The aim of the next nine months is to develop projects and ideas that are transformative as well as implementable in Khulna.

Martijn van Elswijk, project manager of flood resilience in urban areas at Royal HaskoningDHV, said:“We need to fully understand the complexity of the water challenges in Khulna, as water is strongly related with urban developments, and how to manage it in an inclusive way for the development of a livable city. We’re looking forward to working with the other members of our team to present a united and well-rounded selection of bankable projects in nine months’ time.”

Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia is an initiative of the Dutch Water Envoy and the Dutch Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RVO.nl) in partnership with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), Architecture Workroom Brussels (AWB), the Global Center of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA), and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), supported by the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water.